Design Is How It Works

Dave Wiskus in the latest episode of Vector:

“People will say that they’ve been going through Dribbble looking for a designer… and that always shocks me. If you’re searching for an app designer or interaction designer based on the way they make things look, that’s so backwards to me. The coat of paint is the last thing you put on. It would be like choosing a builder based on the color of the buildings they’ve made.”

He’s addressing people who have a confused idea of what the definition of design is. An app’s design should be self-fulfilling – an app’s purpose dictates its design. If a platform, service, or product looks pleasant, but is unpleasant to use, it is designed poorly. In the words of Steve Jobs:

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”